23 July 2005

Lifeguard Watching

Lifeguards are usually female, at least at public pools. Quite often, one or more males will bob along in the water, trying to slyly watch those women's legs perched high above them. The girl guards pretend not to see the mostly older men, or humor them with idle chit chat or the gratuitous giggle.

I'm not one of those men. Occasionally one of these cookie cutter beauties catches my eye (precisely because something is "off" about their appearance), but I mostly don't pay them any heed. Today, on the other hand, was an entirely different matter.

As I watched one of my son Baylin's younger birthday party guests in the kiddy pool, the guards rotated. The new guard flipped off her sandals and jumped in the pool across from me. She started some of that idle chit chat with me and eventually hopped out into a chair where she could still splash water my direction, which she did repeatedly while smiling.

Anytime I looked her way, she was unabashedly staring me down and grinning wide. The kids didn't matter; I was the one she was watching. When the time came to rotate, she sighed slightly and waved good-bye to me.

Later, as I walked past her new perch, she scuffled my hair and smiled.

She saw I was married; she saw I had kids; it didn't matter.

When I left, she waved good-bye.

What was going on? Was I really that delicious with my Michelini (Argentinean for "spare tire") hanging out? Maybe she had enough of the same thing happening to her? Revenge of the underage lifeguard.

I have to admit that it felt great to have an attractive high school girl (or at least she looked around seventeen) checking me out.

So, how does that relate to writing? Well, it was a poetic switch in expectations. It inspired me to write about the situation. I could play with my writing to make you think I was going somewhere else with it. "Lifeguard Watching," for instance, probably made most of you think I was going to discuss myself checking out the lifeguards. Then, as I progressed, you might have thought I was heading into the realm of poking fun at old men trying to charm young women. Neither were what I intended to talk about, but both set up for the punch line and expansion.

Life is full of inspirational moments. Sometimes, we have to go looking for them, but most often, they slap us in the face, or tickle our nostrils, or tease our eyes. Seek out and keep open to these moments of inspiration and you shall never be left wanting for writing material, even if you are the one doing the leering.

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